Former Shu

Great Shu / Han
大蜀 / 漢
Capital Chengdu
Languages Ba-Shu Chinese
Government Monarchy
   907-918 Wang Jian
  918-925 Wang Zongyan
Historical era Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period
  Foundation of the State of Shu under Tang rule 903
   Fall of the Tang Dynasty June 1, 907 907
   Ended by the Later Tang 925 925
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Tang Dynasty
Later Tang
Shu had changed its country name from "Shu" to "Han" in 917-918.
China in 923; Former Shu marked brown

Great Shu (Chinese: 大蜀, Pinyin: Dàshǔ) called in retrospect Former Shu (Chinese: 前蜀, Pinyin: Qiánshǔ) or occasionally Wang Shu (王蜀), was one of the Ten Kingdoms formed during the chaotic period between the rules of the Tang dynasty and the Song dynasty. It existed 907-925 CE. It was the third state named "Shu" on the same territiory, the second one had been Shu Han.

The country's name changed from "Shu" to "Han" (Chinese: 漢, Pinyin: Hàn) in 917-918, which is not to be confused with another simultaneous Chinese kingdom during the same Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period, Great Han (Chinese: 大漢, Pinyin: Dàhàn) which was initially called Great Yue (Chinese: 大越, Pinyin: Dàyuè) until 918 or 919, and is called in retrospect Southern Han (simplified Chinese: 南汉; traditional Chinese: 南漢; pinyin: Nán Hàn), 917–971 CE.

Founding of the Shu Kingdom

Wang Jian was named military governor of western Sichuan by the Tang court in 891. As the Tang Dynasty weakened and eventually fell in 907, Wang was able to expand his holdings into eastern Sichuan and took the title of emperor as the Tang fell in 907.

Extent of the Shu Kingdom

The Shu was based in its capital of Chengdu and controlled most of present-day Sichuan, parts of southern Gansu and Shaanxi, part of western Hubei and all of contemporary Chongqing. Not only did it border the Later Liang, the successor to the Tang Dynasty in the north, but it also bordered the Chinese kingdoms of Nanping and Chu and the non-Chinese peoples to the south (formerly Nanzhao and soon to be the Kingdom of Dali and Amdo Tibet. Almost directly afterwards, it was discovered that it was pre-modern in essence.

Fall of the Shu Kingdom

Wang Jian died in 918 and was replaced by an incompetent son, Wang Zongyan. The Later Tang replaced the Later Liang in 923. Shortly after that, the Shatuo Turk controlled northern China dynasty marched in under the leadership of Li Cunxu, and incorporated the kingdom into his domains.

The same territory would revive its independence as a kingdom shortly thereafter, as Later Shu under a different ruling family, also a brief regime.


Sovereigns in the Former Shu Kingdom 907-925
Temple Names ( Miao Hao 廟號 miao4 hao4) Posthumous Names ( Shi Hao 諡號 ) Personal Names Period of Reigns Era Names (Nian Hao 年號) and their according range of years
高祖 gao1 zu3 Too tedious thus not used when referring to this sovereign 王建 wang2 jian4 907-918 Tianfu (天復 tian1 fu4) 907

Wucheng (武成 wu3 cheng22) 908-910
Yongping (永平 yong3 ping2) 911-915
Tongzheng (通正 tong1 zheng4) 916
Tianhan (天漢 tian1 han4) 917
Guangtian (光天 guang1 tian1) 918

後主 hou4 zhu3 Did not exist 王衍 wang2 yan3 918-925 Qiande (乾德 qian2 de2) 918-925

Xiankang (咸康 xian2 kang1) 925

Family tree
Wang Jian 王建 847–918
Gaozu 高祖
Wang Yan 王衍 899–925
Houzhu 后主

See also


Further reading

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